Blake Bortles sharp in Jaguars' rout of Titans

Doug Marrone to the rescue. With the interim coach at the helm, the Jaguars (3-12) earned their first win in Jacksonville in more than a year, pounding the Tennessee Titans (8-7) 38-17. Here is what you need to know:

1. A brutal day turned tragic for the Titans. The loss places their playoff hopes on life support. Worse for Tennessee fans was seeing Marcus Mariota carted off the field in the third quarter with an air cast on his right leg. Coach Mike Mularkey said after the game Mariota fractured his fibula and will miss the rest of the seasno. Mariota's ankle bent awkwardly on a sack by Jaguars defensive lineman Sheldon Day. Matt Cassel took over to close out the loss. Mariota struggled against a good Jags pass defense before suffering the savage injury. He finished just 8-of-20 passing for 99 yards and a touchdown. Mariota couldn't connect deep and was off-target on boundary throws. Mariota's play this season has typified an up-and-down Titans team. When he's on-target, the Titans can plow through defenses. When he's off, Tennessee gets stuck in the mud for long stretches.

2. Blake Bortles made his case to the next coaching staff to keep the Jaguars' quarterback gig. The enigmatic signal-caller played his best game of the season, hitting quick strikes over the middle and finally finding the mark on several downfield tosses. Bortles finished 26-of-38 passing for 325 yards, one TD throw, and zero interceptions. It was his first time throwing for 300-plus yards in a Jags victory (had been 0-10 when throwing for more than 300 yards). Facing a bad Titans secondary that was missing top corner Jason McCourty certainly helped. Bortles' wonky delivery still causes problems (see the first-half fumble), especially on sideline throws, but he was able to move the chains on third down and allowed his receivers to make plays. The quarterback even caught his first NFL pass, a 20-yard touchdown from Marqise Lee to ice the game.

3. Getting Allen Robinson involved early was key for Bortles. In his previous five games, Robinson compiled 105 total yards. Saturday, A-Rob went for 147 yards on nine receptions (12 targets). Robinson corralled receptions of 37, 28, 21, 18 and 16 yards. When Robinson is making plays for Bortles, the Jags can be a potent offense. Games like Saturday leave you shaking your head, wondering how the duo could post so many woeful afternoons this season.

4. The Titans couldn't get anything going on the ground against Jacksonville, posting just 58 total rushing yards. The Jags' defense swarmed the line of scrimmage. Young players showed the promise on the Jags roster that will make Jacksonville a desirable destination for the next coach. Dante Fowler Jr. was in Mariota's face early, notching a sack, three QB hits, two passes defended, and hit the quarterback's arm on a pivotal third down play early in the second half. Rookie corner Jalen Ramsey continued his dynamic season, breaking up four passes and piled on the Titans with a pick-6 of Cassel.

5. Credit Marrone for getting his team to play hard in a lost season. The interim coach coaxed the best performance out of the Jags all year. After firing Gus Bradley, GM Dave Caldwell said Marrone would be a candidate to keep the gig. The Christmas Eve performance certainly didn't hurt his chances.

6. The Jags lost two running backs to injuries. T.J. Yeldon left in the first half with an ankle injury. Chris Ivory exited in the second half with a hamstring injury.

7. The Titans' playoffs hopes now hinge on the Houston Texans losing to the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday night. Houston would clinch the division with a win. A Texans loss would set up a Week 17 matchup with the Titans for the division. Mariota's injury, however, put a damper on the hopes of even the most optimistic Tennessee fan.